Supporters of independence for Catalonia protested Sunday against a visit to its regional capital Barcelona by Spain’s King Felipe VI, as high-level efforts to allay tensions there gain new momentum.
The king was in Barcelona to help mark the opening of a major international wireless trade fair, called Mobile World Congress, which begins Monday.
Demonstrations against visits to Catalonia by the monarch, who is a symbol of rule from Madrid and who has criticized separatist movements, are common.
But despite the entrenched and confrontational positions, recent developments have raised the possibility that senior officials might find a path to some degree of compromise. Scores turned out for Sunday’s demonstrations — a number far lower that in some protests in recent years.
The Catalan regional president, Pere Aragonès, who supports Catalan independence, is due to meet in Madrid on Tuesday with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. It will be their first encounter since Aragonès became regional chief earlier this year.